It’s summer in Rome. You’ve been queuing for three hours to get a ticket to look around the Vatican Museums, because how could you go home without seeing the Sistine Chapel? After all, Vatican City is a country within a city! It is home to some of the most famous art in the world. And as you can imagine, this place is incredibly popular and always crowded.
Now picture this scene:
7pm. The Vatican Museums have closed for the day. The crowds have gone home. Except you. You’re sitting on a bench in the Sistine Chapel, looking up. It’s blissfully quiet. No noisy mob, no angry elbows, no rushing around.
We want to tell you about an exclusive after-hours Vatican tour. This is for those who’d rather soak up the atmosphere and beauty of Rome’s most popular tourist destination in peace and at our own pace.
As well as access to the Sistine Chapel, you’ll visit Raphael’s Rooms, the Gallery of Maps, the tapestries, and – when open to evening visitors – the Pio Clementino Museum, including the Cabinet of Masks.
Adding an air of importance to the whole occasion, the Vatican Museums will be open to your group alone. And with group sizes of about 10 people, that means you’ll practically have the place to yourself.
The knowledgeable guides are informative but not intrusive, with a passion for both ecclesiastical history and fine art. And as this is a two-hour tour, you’ve got time to ask them heaps of questions. That is if you can tear your eyes away from the sheer beauty of your surroundings.
Vatican City is a country of 110 acres within Rome.
What you need to know:
Please note, these tours are super-exclusive – numbers are strictly limited. While spontaneous travellers might strike it lucky and find some last-minute availability, the forward planners will probably have more success. But if you miss out on an after-hours tour, try the pre-opening 8am Exclusive tour, which has an option to be private and also takes in St Peter’s Basilica.